Slice of life writing is some of my favorite writing. It takes the slightest of images or experience and offers it a place of harvest, of visibility, of connected tissue. Stick with slice of life writing and I’m very confident that the seemingly most insignificant noticings can be woven to much richer tapestry of meaning making, whether for the present moment, a short window of time, or the longer arc of significance. It’s super skill to be able to make the connections.
This post is inspired some by Nicole Frederickson and her recent slice of life writing, along with her invitation to her daughters to slice of life curiosity. This post is also inspired by Saoirse Charis Graves, who has teamed with Nicole to offer haikus in a joint 100-day challenge of writing and sharing. Big thanks to both of them.
So, with renewed invitation to slice of life, here goes. Beginning with the unstaged items in front of me.
The paua shell that I got in 2010 from the tiniest of stores on main street in Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island. I was there to work with my friend and colleague Glen Lauder. I had a morning in which to wander around the main street’s shops and parks. I love the vibrant rainbow coloring of this abalone shell. It sits on my desk. It now holds sage that I gathered last year from nearby Utah Lake, and dried so as to be able to create mini ceremony. The shell holds a few ashes of burns. It also holds a few dried rose petals that I decided to place in the shell. The petals are from a rose bush that I planted in my front yard to honor my grandmother’s passing / death.
Slice of life — friendship, distant travel, wandering, beauty, things near, family, honoring. My heart sings to have such symbolic artifact so close.
The jar candle, nearing it’s last hours, next to a tiny leather journal. The jar candle is as basic as it gets. Costs a dollar (now a dollar and fifty cents) from The Dollar Store. Burns continuously for 72-80 hours. I’ve been burning this one since Monday through the day and through the night. Makes me smile when I see it when I come to my bedroom at night. Makes me smile when I see it still burning in the morning when I wake. Was sad earlier this week, knowing at some level that I need to grieve. Fire helps me. I love the 72 hours worth. The journal next to it was a gift to me from my daughter and son in-law. They gave it to me proudly five years ago — “we think you will really like this.” They were right. I’ve kept this journal special, writing a few personal vows in it.
Slice of life — ceremony, the steadying power of fire, easy price tag, grief, gifts, love, vows. Yup, heart singing.
The two pens atop the lime green journal. Another journal. This one is reserved for catching night time dreams (slice of life from sleeping). The journal was given to me from one of my closest friends. The pages are unlined. I love having space to write and draw the dreams. I love having multiple colors to catch key words and images. Generally it’s one dream per page for me. I like to have space for them to exist as they are. Not crammed. A book like that will last me 6-9 months of dreams. I keep old dream journals on my bookshelf. I love relationship with my unconscious. I love dreams in which I connect meaning to my ancestors. Most of my dreams are snippets, not epic trilogies of movies.
Slice of life — habit, practice. Desire for the deeper why’s of life. Close friendship. Space for multi-colors. Nighttime slices of life. Appreciations of each of these. Song.
The stacked stones. All of them from my two visits (2011 and 2018) to Yukon. I was there to meet a good buddy and then road trip 2500 miles to Vancouver, BC. Miles and miles of laughter conversation. Of serious topics. Of silence. The large stones are from a private walk, enjoying the silence and the openness of the north. The green stones (jade) from a shop. They are ceremony stones for me. Three are rough. One is polished. I carry them in my pocket sometimes to have them near. I shake them sometimes when I invite four directions. I love the green of the jade on top of the white of the quartz.
Slice of life — ritual is important to me. And friendship. And road trips. I love to be silly. I love to be serous. I love making meaning from my belly.
The round clock made a British man near Dorset. The wood is yew. The clock was given to me ten years ago by a dear friend and guide that lives near Dorset. She encouraged, “it’s about giving yourself time.” One of the most important guides in my life. The clock stopped working for many years. I replaced the battery. Worked for another year and then stopped. Hmmm…, 12:50. Ten minutes before the top of the hour. It sits on my window ledge. Like the other items above, nearby.
Slice of life — friendship. Travels far. Gifts. Naming of the wood. Opening my heart further to the timelessness of spirit lived life.
I’m grateful to those near and far that so honor slice of life. There is deep belonging in these little habits of sharing and honoring regular life. And the songs it creates in our choired communities of the everyday.